OVER the past 18 months editing The Lismore Echo, I have covered many events in the city, and more often than not, there is one person I can rely on to be there: Raymond Parry.
You can't help but smile when you see Ray. I've never seen him in the same outfit twice. He is usually wearing all the colours of the rainbow, and he's always happy to see you. It wasn't surprising he was a big presence at both the 'yes' day announcement in the Quad, or the Lismore Mardi Gras. The LGBTI community wear his colours.
I first met him down town at the Anzac Day service fully resplendent in his Welsh tartan. He was there to show his respect.
By the time the Friendship Festival in Spinks Park came along he was all red and green; Ray was Italian for a day. At The Arty Party he could not have been more at home among a tent full of kids making origami.
I once turned up to do a story at RED Inc and was so pleased to see him there in his element, engaged and creating art. He couldn't wait to show me his newly painted nails (see back page). He is also a regular at The Winsome and an enthusiastic member of the Healing Voices choir.
In our community he is a ray. He is lucky to have us and we're lucky to have him.